March 26, 2019

Chicago's mayor and police superintendent on Tuesday tore into prosecutors for dropping the charges against Jussie Smollett, saying they stand behind their conclusion that he orchestrated a fake hate crime against himself.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday that all of the charges against Smollett being dropped is "without a doubt a whitewash of justice," arguing it sends the message that someone in "a position of influence and power" is treated differently than everyone else. Emanuel said that a grand jury had decided to indict Smollett after only seeing "a piece of the evidence" police had, complaining that Smollett has now "gotten off scot-free" after abusing hate crime laws "in the name of self-promotion" and asking, "Is there no decency in this man?"

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also said of the Empire actor, who had been hit with 16 charges but now has had his record cleared, "it's Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period." Chicago "is still owed an apology," Johnson also said while criticizing Smollett as having decided to "hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system" when he should have wanted to clear his name in court.

Smollett's lawyer, Patricia Brown Holmes, on Tuesday had said that Chicago police should not "try their cases in the press" or "convict people before they are tried in a court of law."

Joe Magats, the first assistant state's attorney, told The New York Times' Julie Bosman on Tuesday that "we didn't exonerate" Smollett. Magats said that "we stand behind the investigation" but that "we work to prioritize violent crime" and that "I don't see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety." Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads